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Fluid on the lungs killed Boyzone singer

By Marco Trujillo

MAJORCA, Spain (Reuters) - A post mortem on Boyzone singer Stephen Gately, 33, on the Spanish island of Majorca revealed Tuesday that he died of natural causes due to fluid on the lungs, a court official said Tuesday.

"The autopsy carried out this morning did not reveal any signs of violence on the body," the Balearic Islands high court said in a statement.

The preliminary findings of the post mortem were given to the deceased Irish singer's partner Andrew Cowles, who was questioned as a witness by a judge in Palma de Mallorca.

Gately was on holiday with Cowles when he was found dead in their apartment in the resort of Port Andrax in the early hours of Saturday after a night on the town, according to newspaper reports.

"Andrew has only left the coroner's court and he is satisfied ... that it was natural causes," Gately's lawyer Gerald Kean said on Irish radio.

"There has never been any doubt that Stephen was out and had a few drinks. The suggestion of an 8 or 9 hour binge drinking session was wrong and inappropriate," Kean said.

"There is no foul play. There is no mention of drugs, it's natural causes," he said.

The News of the World newspaper reported on its website that Gately had died after having a few drinks.

The judge authorized Cowles to take Gately's body back to Ireland for burial and the body is expected to leave Mallorca either late Tuesday or Wednesday.

But the investigation into Gately's death remains open until the court receives results of tests due to be carried out on autopsy samples at a laboratory in Barcelona.

Testimony will also be taken from other witnesses and the case will only be closed if the preliminary finding of death by natural causes is confirmed, the court said.

The Boyzone quintet was put together by pop impresario Louis Walsh, who also assembled Girls Aloud and Westlife, and was most popular in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Britain.

The band split up in 2000 when Ronan Keating set off on a solo career, but they reunited for various events in 2007-2008.

(Reporting by Marco Trujillo; writing by Judy MacInnes, editing by Paul Casciato)

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